“I’m having an out of body experience” said QuickLabel Product Manager Kevin Brisson after sampling a taste of a “Sweet and Sassy” salted caramel Bite Me Brownie. Just as I was about to offer a taste to my other colleagues, Kevin stopped me and said “Please taste it before you offer it to anyone else, you’ll regret it. It’s THAT good.”
That is just one of the reactions around our office after trying a Bite Me Brownie. We’ve had the opportunity to work with one of the most uncommon businesses that makes one of the most common dessert snacks we know of, but with a very special twist. Bite Me Brownies of Phoenix, Arizona is truly a one of a kind anything but “ordinary” company, and founder Emily Mericle has told us why.
Sass and Flavor…
Bite Me Brownies boasts a line of edgy, flavorful brownies with names like: “You Wanna Piece of Me” Peanut Butter Banana, “Sweet and Sassy” Salted Caramel, “Slap My Apple” Apple Pie Blondie, and “There Can Vino Other” Red Wine brownie – just to name a few.
Mericle said that since their company name had some sass to it they had decided from the beginning that they wanted to be edgy and have their flavor names to follow suit. Mericle said some of the names came quickly where as others took a little bit of debate.
One of her favorite aspects of her job is developing the flavors and seeing people react to them, “I love coming up with the flavors but then I would also have to say I really enjoy sampling them. I love getting peoples’ reactions and feedback,” said Mericle.
Brownies & Business: A Match Made in Heaven
Mericle was originally a Registered Nurse, but after the birth of her first child she decided she wanted to pursue a career doing something that she enjoys even more. “Since I have always loved to bake and I loved to eat brownies, it seemed like a match made in heaven.”
The decision to end her nursing career and start her own brownie company may be anything but ordinary to most, but not to Emily, who told us “My family can probably attest that I don’t easily settle for things that are ‘ordinary.’ ”
Seeking out the extraordinary is a quality that led her to create the Bite Me Brownies non-square brownie.
The trademark round brownies grew out of Mericle’s creative imagination, and also stemmed from the fact that she experiments with many different flavors that don’t always cut prettily when she makes them in a big pan. Realizing that slices didn’t do her brownies justice, she decided to try baking the brownies individually.
She was able to find little fluted baking cups to fit inside her round baking pan. “I loved that it was something different, and the people that we would sample to seemed to like the uniqueness,” said Mericle. Thus, the unique Bite Me Brownies shape was born.
Unique Brownies Get Creative Labels with the QuickLabel Zeo!
“We love our Zeo! It is really a wonderful asset to our business” says Mericle of the Zeo! Inkjet label printer. Besides printing each of their labels with a unique product photo and their brand logo (designed by KODA Creative in Arizona), the Zeo! allows Bite Me Brownies to experiment with new flavors and print labels as they go rather than ordering 500 or 1000 labels that they do not need in order to meet printing minimums.
On top of printing sample labels, Bite Me Brownies has also been able to branch out into making custom labels using their Zeo!. They most commonly print custom labels for corporate gifts, baby showers, and wedding favors. But Bite Me Brownies is also able to keep up with seasonal labeling for holidays, giving their customers plenty of options. Most recently they designed custom Mother’s Day labels to accompany Mother’s Day brownie orders. All of Bite me Brownies custom labels are designed in-house by Mericle’s husband Brian.
It Takes a Family to Put the Bite in these Brownies
Together, Emily Mericle and her husband Brian source as many local ingredients as they can and have worked to create a new favorite brownie brand in Arizona. Emily is the brain behind the brownies, and her husband Brian is the mind behind their website.
On Saturday mornings and Wednesday nights, they both sell brownies at the Phoenix Public Farmers Market. But every Wednesday during the daytime, they enjoy one of the perks of owning their own business and setting their own hours: they take the day off to spend time with their son Mason.
The Mericle’s seems to have the right recipe. “What’s our secret? Love and attitude! I love to bake and I love to see smiles and create positive experiences. It gives me that warm fuzzy feeling,” said Mericle.
As our Technician Joe Amalfitano put it after tasting a Bite Me brownie: “Was that incredible or what?” We agree.